April 20, 2005
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State center fielder Tatiana George went a perfect 2-for-2 on the day and scored one run to lead the Seminoles (29-18) to its second straight victory over the Florida A&M Rattlers (33-30) on JoAnne Graf Field at the Seminole Softball Complex on Thursday. The Tribe defeated the Rattlers 4-1 on Monday.
“The key for us the whole game was the first inning,” said 27-year head coach Dr. JoAnne Graf. “They made a couple key mistakes and that allowed us to score three runs. That set the tone for us and gave us the buffer we needed. I was also really proud when they scored that one run [in the fourth inning] that we answered with two to put us over the top.”
The Seminoles capitalized on two first inning errors by the Rattlers and immediately put three runs on the board. Left fielder Natasha Jacob extended her hit streak to eight games with a leadoff single. Jacob moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt by shortstop Kim Hoffer and she was ultimately safe thanks to a throwing error by third baseman Treva Robinson. During the next at bat, George also put down a sacrifice and once again Robinson registered an error as her throw was unreachable. The ball rolled to the right field fence, scoring both Jacob and Hoffer (2-0) and advancing George all the way to third base. Freshman cleanup hitter Melissa Wood scored George on a fielder’s choice making it 3-0 FSU in the bottom of the first.
The Rattlers tacked on one in the top of the fourth but the Seminoles responded with two of the own in the bottom of the inning with a three-hit outing. Sophomore LaShaun Davis singled and freshman Brittany Osmon hit a towering triple to right center field, a team-best fourth of the year, to bring Davis across the plate for the 4-1 advantage. Osmon touched home on a wild pitch by hurler Ali Mitchell for the fifth and final run of the game.
Senior Casey Hunter got the win and improved to 16-12 on the season with Tiffany McDonald earning her first career save. The staff combined to give up one earned run, three walks, and eight strikeouts. Hunter tossed 4.1 innings before she was relieved by the freshman. Monique Mattingly took the loss for the Rattlers.
“Several times when we got runners on, Casey and Tiffany were able to shut down the batters. I think they showed a lot of heart to come back. Casey did a great job early in the game and then fell a little behind and Tiffany came in and closed it out. We still have to work on getting ahead of the batters. However, I was really pleased that they only allowed them to score that one run.”
Veronica Wootson went 1-for-3 and Hoffer had a 1-for-1 day at the plate and added two sacrifices.
For Florida A&M, Ashley Walker went 2-for-4.
The Seminoles take the field Saturday when they begin a three-game series with Atlantic Coast Conference opponent Virginia. The Tribe will face the Hokies during a doubleheader Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m. Sunday is Senior Day as the Seminoles play their final home contest of the year at 1:00 p.m.
“This weekend is real important,” said Graf, “and the kids are also trying to complete finals . . . so they have a lot on their minds emotionally. We are giving them the day off tomorrow because a lot of them have spent eight plus hours studying the last two days. So, their plates are full but they know how important this series is with Virginia and now they have to go out and perform like it.”